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You are invited to spend a morning experiencing Yosemite’s birds as part of Yosemite’s Legacy Songbird Banding Program. You will see “science in action” and learn to identify lots of different bird species up-close. You will tour mist-nets, watch a bird banding demonstration, learn some bird identification techniques, and discuss the importance of bird conservation. You will learn why bird banding is so important for protecting birds and their habitats in Yosemite.
At 6:30 am, meet a biologist from Yosemite at the hwy140/hwy120 intersection (just west of Yosemite Valley). You will caravan together to the bird banding site. Expect about a 15 min drive to Big Meadow, 30 min drive to Crane Flat, and a 40 minute drive to Hodgdon Meadows. You are welcome to spend as much time at the banding station as you wish. Typically, the bird activity decreases around 9:30 am.
What do I bring?
Bring binoculars, dress in layers, and wear sturdy boots. Optional but recommended: bring notebook, sunscreen, insect repellent, water, snacks, and field guide(s).
Note: it’s necessary that people RSVP because they will be capping the group size to 12.
If you are interested in this opportunity, please contact Sarah Stock (firstname.lastname@example.org) and she can schedule you for a morning with the birds.
What are we learning from bird banding?
In partnership with Yosemite Conservancy and The Institute for Bird Populations, Yosemite National Park has been conducting songbird monitoring through a national program called Monitoring Avian Productivity and Survivorship (MAPS). This program first began in Yosemite in 1990, and Yosemite now hosts some of the longest-running MAPS stations in the country! A grant through Yosemite Conservancy brings the Yosemite MAPS Program to its 28-year mark this year. These data have resulted in scientific publications, research partnerships, and numerous outreach opportunities. Some of the bird highlights include documenting some of the oldest birds ever recorded (e.g., 9 year-old MacGillivray’s Warbler!), an Orange-crowned Warbler that was banded at Hodgdon Meadow and then recaptured in Texas 2.5 years later(!), and some unexpected Willow Flycatcher captures (rare and endangered species).